KEY ACTION Recommended denying an amendment request to rezone three tracts of about 23.75 acres total, south of Portage Street NW and east of Wales Avenue NW. The request was to rezone the acreage from B-3 commercial business district and R-R rural residential to R-3 residential planned unit development (PUD). The rezoning request was made by Redwood Acquisitions.
Redwood is proposing to build senior-targeted rental apartments with single-family, single-story attached units with two-car attached garages. The developer is proposing to build 99 units.
Jackson Township Zoning Commission recommended denying the request by a 2-2 vote. There was one member of the commission missing from the meeting and where there is a tie vote, James Conley, zoning commission member, said it results in a recommendation for denial.
Conley and Larry Everhard voted yes and Jack Clark and David Thiel voted no. Scott Sandrock was absent.
DISCUSSION The Stark County Regional Planning Commission recommended denial Aug. 6. The RPC made the recommendation because of traffic concerns, including the lack of a secondary access roadway for the project and no connecting roads to existing neighborhood streets. The previous plan included only an access road from Portage Street NW.
The plan submitted to the Jackson Township Zoning Commission was a new plan that included a right-in, right-out access road on Wales Avenue NW in addition to the access road in and out on Portage Street.
There were numerous residents with properties surrounding the area and some living across Wales Avenue NW who attended the zoning meeting to speak against the project. Only the two representatives for Redwood Acquisitions spoke for the rezoning.
The main concerns of area property owners included traffic congestion, noise, the number of units proposed and that the apartments could be rented to anyone, not just those over the age of 50 or 55. Many had concerns about the access road on Wales Avenue NW.
The developer’s representatives said that the Ohio Department of Transportation said that the access road could have only a right turn onto Wales Avenue NW and a right turn into the development off Wales Avenue NW.
The zoning commission said they thought the developer did try to address the issues mentioned by the RPC, and that the new planning does meet the requirements for the R-3. There still were concerns over traffic issues, buffering the area for surrounding neighborhoods and the economic research data presented.
“The recommendation of the zoning commission will be sent to the township trustees,” said Conley.
“Our vote is only a recommendation; the trustees can pass the rezoning request or deny it. Residents will have a chance to speak for it or against it at the trustees’ meeting if they want,” he said.